Generals Rousseau and Granger arrived at Athens September 8, at 4 p. m., and about 6 p. m., at the earnest solicitation of General Steedman, the whole command of cavalry was set in motion to support Colonel Streight. The cavalry camped at Elk River on the night of the 8th of September. At 4 a. m. September 9 that command moved and overtook the infantry under Colonel Streight's command at Shoal Creek about 3.30 p. m. Colonel Streight had overtaken General Wheeler's rear guard and skirmished with it, driving the enemy and crossing the creek, where he awaited the arrival of the cavalry. At this point it was determined by General Rousseau to remain for the night. On the morning of the 10th of September, after a long delay, the cavalry started in pursuit, and the infantry of this command awaited developments. In the mean time foraging parties were sent out, and meat sufficient for two days' rations collected from the rebel citizens of the country. A portion of the command was moved down to-Ferry, where some of the boats of the enemy were concealed. Some skirmishing was had and the guards of the boats driven from their cover, 1 being killed and several wounded. Orders to move up to Florence prevented any attempt to gain possession of the boats. These orders were afterward countermanded, and the troops moved back to their camps. General Rousseau here announced that Wheeler had crossed the Tennessee River at 4 p. m. On the morning of the 11th the command started for Athens, reaching Elk River at dark, and Athens at 9 a. m. on the 12th of September. The command started at 11 a. m. September 12 for Chattanooga, arriving there at 11.30 p. m.
Accompanying this please find the telegrams received during the expedition. The organization of the command was as follow: First Brigade, Colonel Streight commanding-Fifty-first Indiana, Eleventh Michigan, Fourteenth U. S. Colored, Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Second Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn commanding-Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers Infantry, Sixty-eighth Indiana Infantry, and detachments of Fifth and Tenth Iowa. Third Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Hurlbut commanding-Thirty-ninth Iowa, Fifty-seventh Illinois.
I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. E. STANSBURY,
Captain, 19th Infantry, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, September 16, 1864.
General W. T. SHERMAN,
MY DEAR GENERAL: Your very interesting letter of the 4th is just received. Its perusal has given me the greatest pleasure. I have not written before to congratulate you on the capture of Atlanta, the objective point of your brilliant campaign, for the reason that I have been suffering from my annual attack of "coryza," or hay cold. It affects my eyes so much that I can hardly see to write.
As you suppose, I have watched your movements most attentively and critically, and I do not hesitate to say that your campaign has been the most brilliant of the war. Its results are less striking and less complete than those of General Grant at Vicksburg, but then you have had greater difficulties to encounter, a longer line of communication to keep up, and a longer and more continuous strain upon yourself and upon